Determinants of the internationalisation of agrifood firms: The case of olive oil in southern Spain

The aim of this article is to identify the conditions for the internationalisation of olive oil producing firms in southern of Spain (province of Jaén), as this region accounts for 20 percent of total world production. To that end, we propose a model and test it with data from four premium extra virgin olive oil producing firms (two Born Globals and two non-Born Globals), combining a case study approach with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). The results show that firms must develop dynamic capabilities. To do so, firms must combine resources and capabilities; international market orientation, network orientation and entrepreneurship orientation strategies; and human, relational and technological capital. If this happens within the first three years of their incorporation, they can be Born Globals. These results can be extrapolated to other industries. Finally, this paper offers some policy implications for firms, such as: they should become more involved in facilitating the internationalisation process for olive oil firms, promote the olive culture abroad, facilitate access to foreign markets, publicise the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).